Friday, September 08, 2017

Real Worries Trump Silly Worries

This week we had a cancer scare. One of the members of the Catican staff was diagnosed as having a tumor, which would have been their second. The first had been dealt with, so we had assumed we were safe, but this appeared to be a return of the crab*. Any round after the first is bad news as it typically means metastasis, so we started dealing with an uncertain future for all of us.

Yesterday, we had further diagnosis and discovered that the lump and shapes on the screen were not cancerous and there was an innocent explanation for it all. Thank you, Jesus!

I've been at the epicenter of a few atomic bombs in my life, but this was the first one of these. Starting to work through the emotional and physical ramifications of a possibly terminal illness in the family was new to me. Everything else faded as if the world was an image in Photoshop and I was turning down its intensity, save for the central part. Things at work which had occupied my thoughts were dismissed as irrelevant and minor irritations became meaningless.

That's something I've learned from previous crises. Your Worry Scale changes when you get hit with big problems and you realize that what you had thought was the upper end of Things to Worry About wasn't anywhere near the real upper end of that scale. With each crisis, I find it easier and easier to deal with little troubles in my life. I've learned to recognize how truly small they are.

I've felt that way about a lot of the cultural wars we've been waging lately. ANTIFA is made up of young people because they're inexperienced. They've yet to be seriously tested in life, so they think that statues and flags and campus speakers are terribly important. They're not.

Had the crab really returned, I wouldn't have spent the next several months writing strongly worded letters to my representatives about statues. Had the crab claimed it's victim, I'd discover that I instantly had deep bonds with other veterans of battles with the crab, regardless of their political positions.

That's one of the many ways the whole identity politics things falls apart. We can quickly find intimate connections with people who have similar interests and experiences regardless of race. I'd rather have a black security guard who is an SEC football fan over for jambalaya and the LSU game than a white member of the New York City ballet. My Hispanic Cursillo friends who come over to the Catican Bayou for good food are always a lot of fun. White, atheist, ANTIFA Bernie-Bros? Not so much fun.

Skin color is a shallow starting point for relationships. Experiences, loves and hobbies are the best connectors.

I'm rhetorically wandering around now, still a bit mentally dazed from the relief I feel. Sorry about that. I'll leave you with this little snippet from Woody Allen's Love and Death where an escape from death leads to changes in life. Enjoy.

* - If you don't know the reference, the Crab is the Zodiac constellation for Cancer. Cancer is Latin for "crab." I first encountered this turn of phrase in Solzhenitsyn's excellent book, Cancer Ward.

1 comment:

tim eisele said...

I'm glad to hear that things seem to be OK after all. And yes, there are certain things that make one ask, "why was I worried about all this other crap, again?"